The Philippines and Cuba, both have a lot in common:
Spanish rule for three hundred and fifty-odd years.According to Prevention Web, between 1980-2008, the Philippines (disaster statistics) had six times as many hurricanes but nearly 16 (yes, sixteen) times as many fatalities as the cigar smokers in Cuba (disaster statistics).
American rule by proxy during a good chunk of the 20th century.
Nominal independence for the Philippines after 1945.
Complete independence for Cuba since 1959.
Both countries are subject to extreme weather systems during the summer and early autumn: hurricanes and typhoons.
How so? For all its faults, Cuba has, among other things, developed a first class disaster management programme.
Sadly, there's not much chance of such a disaster management programme being established and efficiently maintained in the Philippines. Not currently, anyway.
This is a country whose owners and rulers are generally pre-occupied with graft and corruption. They know how to steal from the people. They have little inclination to serve the people.
The result? Katrina redux.